Start of menu
Close Menu
Skip to content

We¡¦ve put together answers to the most frequently asked questions. Simply click on the appropriate category below.

Q. How do I let you know about changes to my details?
A. Please call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277-2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. I have other business locations where I would like to accept American Express Cards. What do I need to do?
A. Call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277-2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. How do I make sure that my terminal accepts American Express Cards?
A. Call your terminal provider and request that your terminal be programmed with your American Express Merchant number, or call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277-2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm; Saturday, 9am to 1pm) (except public holidays).

Q. My terminal is asking for authorization of a transaction. Who do I call?
A. Call our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277-1000. They¡¦ll need your Merchant number, Card Account number, and the amount charged.

Q. My terminal is displaying a fault message. Who do I call?
A. Call your terminal provider and quote the reference letter which appears on the terminal screen. If it is an American Express terminal, please call our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277 2100.

Q. My terminal is set up for chip & PIN. Can I still accept Signature Cards?
A. Yes, you should accept all Cards, regardless of whether they have a Chip or not. If a customer presents a Card without a chip, swipe it and follow the instructions, your terminal will then request a signature.

Q. The Card has no chip on it. What should I do?
A. Swipe the Card. Your terminal will instruct you on how to process the Card, and then prompt you for the Cardmember¡¦s signature.

Q. A Cardmember claims not to know, or to have forgotten, their PIN. Should I proceed?
A. You may proceed if you wish, but cautiously. Select PIN bypass and your terminal will let you know whether the Card issuer will allow the Cardmember to sign for the transaction.
If PIN bypass is allowed:
provided you have followed the correct authorization and signature checking procedures, you¡¦ll not be liable if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent.
If PIN bypass is not allowed:
the transaction will be declined, and you must not allow the Cardmember to sign. If you do, you¡¦ll be liable if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent. If in doubt, always follow the instructions given to you by your terminal.

Q. How does American Express pay my business?
A. We'll pay the net amount we owe you. We arrive at this amount by deducting our Merchant Fee on each transaction prior to settlement, rather than asking for payment at the end of the month. We may also offset any adjustments to your Account, such as credits, refunds or Chargebacks.

Q. When does American Express pay my business?
A. To find out when we pay your business, please consult your Merchant Payment Plan. If you can¡¦t find your Merchant Payment Plan, call our Merchant Services Hotline to request a new one by calling 2277-2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. Does American Express offset any adjustments to my Account?
A. Yes, we may offset any adjustments like credits, refunds or Chargebacks prior to settlement.

Q. When will I need to pay?
A: There may be times when your Account is in debit. Reasons for this may include:
        •   Refunds you have made to Cardmembers.
        •   Outstanding fees.
        •   A Chargeback debited to your Account following a disputed transaction by a Cardmember.

Q. How do I settle any money I owe American Express?
A. If you submit monthly transactions, we¡¦ll deduct what you owe us from the next payment(s) we make to your business. In situations where we consider that those payments are not sufficient to clear the outstanding amount, we¡¦ll contact you to make other arrangements for settlement.

Q. Why am I being deducted the full amount when I process a refund?
A. Whenever a refund takes place, American Express will retain the Merchant fee that was charged to your Account. The fee that we retain is the Retain Discount Rate. As you know, American Express serves as the intermediary between your establishment and our Cardmembers regarding customer disputes and returns. In this capacity, we need to handle credit transactions through our network, as well as respond to questions about credit issues as necessary. Processing these transactions incurs a cost to American Express and this cost is reflected in the Retain Discount Rate.

Q. What is a dispute?
A. A dispute occurs when a Cardmember notifies American Express about a charge on their Statement which they don¡¦t recognise, and then request further information.

Q. What is a Chargeback?
A. A Chargeback occurs when, after investigating of a dispute, we debit your Account by the amount of the disputed transaction and credit the Cardmember.

Q. Will I be notified of a dispute or Chargeback?
A. If a Cardmember questions a charge, and the data we hold is insufficient to resolve the issue, we may send you a "Referral Request letter". In certain circumstances, for example, with Merchants who receive a lot of disputes, or conduct transactions in what we consider to be risky business environments, we make a Chargeback without sending a "Referral Request letter". If any enquiry results in a Chargeback to your Account, we will notify you accordingly.

Q. What is a "Referral Request letter"?
A. When we¡¦re unable to resolve a dispute using our own data, we may send you a "Referral Request letter". This outlines the reason for the dispute and specifies the documents we require from you. Please ensure that you respond fully before the requested date indicated on the letter.

Q. What do I do when I receive a "Referral Request letter"?
A. Please fax it to the number indicated on the letter, with all required details, before the reply-by date indicated on the letter. If we do not hear from you by that date, regretfully, we will have to deduct the amount of the concerned transaction from your Merchant Account, and then close the dispute.

Q. What happens once I have responded to the "Referral Request letter"?
A. Provided you have sent us everything we requested, we will investigate the dispute further. Depending upon the result of our investigation, we¡¦ll either ask the Cardmember to pay the charge, or debit the amount (Chargeback) from your Account. Please note, we always make a Chargeback if:
    •   You do not send us all the information requested in the "Referral Request letter".
    •   You do not respond to the "Referral Request letter" by the date indicated on the letter.
    •   The disputed charge has been resolved in favour of the Cardmember.

Q. How do I avoid disputes and Chargebacks?
A. There are steps you can take to minimise the chances of a dispute and Chargeback happening. For example, you should:
    •  Keep all records of sales and charges. Ensure your trading name appears correctly on
        the Cardmember¡¦s Statement. To verify the trading name we are quoting on Statements is correct,
        please call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm)
        (except public holidays)
    •  Help the Cardmember to remember the transaction. Provide as much information as possible to
        remind them of the transaction (the hotel room number, for example).
    •   Clearly advise Cardmembers of your returns policy for damaged or unwanted goods, and your
        cancellation policy.
    •   Check every Card carefully. Make sure it hasn¡¦t been altered or damaged and has not expired. If it¡¦s
        not a chip & PIN Card, ensure the signature matches the one on the Card.
    •   Never split a charge to avoid your floor limit, or to skip authorization altogether.

Q. Who can I contact about a dispute or Chargeback?
A. Call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays) for further information.

Q. How do I check/reconcile my daily submission?
A. You can reconcile your daily submission using our user friendly online tool ¡V Online Merchant Services (OMS).

OMS gives you access to all the financial data you need in order to reconcile your payments, and your submissions, all at no extra cost.

Q. Am I eligible for Online Merchant Services (OMS)?
A. We do not grant access to online information to Merchants who
     •  Are paid by cheque. In this case we would suggest you sign up to receive payments directly into your
         bank account, then we will be able to provide you with your data online.
     •  Are currently in a debit balance situation (i.e. you owe American Express money). In this case,
         we would encourage you to apply again when the debit balance has been cleared.
     •  Have cancelled their agreement with us. If your agreement with us has recently been terminated,
         then we will not be able to provide you with any information online.
     •  Submit and get paid in any currency other than Hong Kong dollars. In this case we¡¦ll advise you
         and later provide you online data portals for currencies other than Hong Kong dollars.

Q. What are the benefits of reconciling my payments online?
A. By reconciling your payments online, you will be able to:
     •  View your payment data online the day after you have processed American Express transactions
         even before the fund being deposited in your Account.
     •  Check that your submissions have been received by American Express and processed successfully.
     •  Access all your payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
     •  Save Time. Receive your American Express information electronically in one central location to
         eliminate the risk of mail delays and lost communications.
     •  Minimise Your Paperwork. Replace your paper Statements with this fast, flexible tool that you
         can access any time of day.
     •  Predict Cash Flow More Accurately. Track money deposited into your Account on a daily basis,
         so you don't have to wait until the end of each month for your Account status.
     •  Improve Your Business Analysis. Export your financial information to spreadsheet applications,
         such as Microsoft® Excel, so you can perform a better analysis and eliminate the need to key the
         information into your computer.

If you are an existing user of Online Merchant Services (OMS) & would like to login now click here.

If you are a new user and have not yet registered for OMS click here.


Q. Is there a fee for reconciling my payments online?
A. There is no fee for this service. In fact, if you enrol for Online Merchant Services, you¡¦ll automatically switch to paperless statement, saving you $50 (HKD) per statement (the amount we charge for issuing paper statements).

Q. Will reconciling payments online affect my American Express service fee?
A. No. Reconciling your payments online will have no impact on your American Express service fee.

Q. Will reconciling payments online affect the time in which I receive payments from American Express?
A. No. Reconciling your payments online will have no impact on the time in which you receive payments for American Express charges.

Q. How long will it take to access data once I¡¦ve signed up to reconcile my payments online?
A. Once your registration process is completed, your financial data will be available to you immediately.

Q. Does signing up to reconcile my payments online automatically discontinue hard copy (paper) or soft copy (email) payment Statements?
A. Yes, starting with your next Merchant Statement, all financial information will now come to you through online access only.

Q. How much payment reconciliation data will be available online?
A. You¡¦re able to view the last 13 months of payment reconciliation data online. You can also view it by running a report and/or downloading the data into a spreadsheet (for example; Microsoft® Excel).

Q. What kind of internet browser will I need to reconcile my payments online?
A. You may use either an IBM compatible or Apple Macintosh® personal computer that can run Microsoft ® Internet Explorer 5.01, IE 6.0.29 or higher. We recommend using a 28.8kbps or higher modem.

Q. How can I access all my Accounts with one user ID?
A. To view payment data for multiple locations all you need to do is register your Head Office American Express Merchant number. To do this you will need to create a new ID and password, enter your Head Office Merchant Account number and banking information. The Head Office Account will then be able to view financial data for each location in the chain.

Q. Why should I resolve my customer disputes online?
A. By receiving and responding to customer disputes online, you can save time and money, as well as reduce the risk of ¡¥no reply¡¦ Chargebacks that can occur due to mail delays or misplaced dispute letters.

Q. How does resolving disputes online differ from doing so through the mail?
A. In both cases, you are provided the same time to reply and can send supporting material by fax. Receiving a notification online is much faster than via regular mail and as a result gives you a longer period of time in which to respond.

Q. Can I track my customer disputes online even if my business has multiple locations?
A. Yes. You can resolve customer disputes for all of your locations. When you access the service, you¡¦re given the opportunity to select the locations within your organisation for which you wish to manage disputes.

Q. Does resolving my customer disputes online automatically mean I will no longer receive paper customer dispute letters?
A. Yes, this information will now be provided to you through online access only.

Q. How long will it take to access data once I¡¦ve signed up to customer disputes online?
A. Once you¡¦re registered, you may begin viewing your online disputes and Chargebacks within 24-48 hours.

Q. What is a customer dispute?
A. A customer dispute is a notification you receive whenever a Cardmember enquires about a charge from your business. To find enquiries that have been sent to you, click on the ¡§Search disputes¡¨ or ¡§Chargebacks¡¨ link. Select a case to see further details.

Q. What should I do with a customer dispute?
A. You must respond to each customer dispute you receive by the date indicated on the Dispute Details page. You can choose to issue a full refund, no refund, or a partial one. By choosing to issue a full refund, you can either authorize a Chargeback or issue a credit to the Cardmember for the full disputed amount. If you choose to issue no refund, you¡¦re contesting the dispute. If you choose to issue a partial refund, you can authorize a partial credit to the Cardmember.

Q. How much time do I have to respond to a customer dispute?
A. The amount of time you have to respond varies depending on the type of dispute. Check the main Dispute Details page and the reply-by date section for each dispute to see how much time you have to respond.

Q. What if I don't respond in time?
A. If you do not respond to a customer dispute by the date indicated, you may be subject to a Chargeback for the full disputed amount.

Q. What does it mean to agree with a customer dispute?
A. Agreeing to a customer dispute means that you¡¦re either authorizing a Chargeback or issuing a credit to the Cardmember for the full disputed amount.

Q. What should I do if I agree with a customer dispute?
A. Select ¡§Continue¡¨ with ¡§Full Refund¡¨ on the Dispute Details page. When the Response page appears, choose a ¡§Response Code¡¨ and provide the required information. Click ¡§Send Response¡¨ when you¡¦re finished. There¡¦s no further action required other than issuing the credit to the Cardmember.

Q. How do I respond to a dispute when a credit for the full disputed amount has been or will be issued?
A. If issuing a credit, you must enter your response and issue the credit through your terminal. Select ¡§Continue¡¨ with ¡§Full Refund¡¨ on the Dispute Details page. When the Response page appears, choose ¡§Response Code 08 - Issuing Credit¡¨. Click ¡§Send Response¡¨ when you¡¦re finished.

Q. What is a Response Code?
A. A Response Code is a designation used by American Express to define the action you intend to take, or have already taken, regarding a customer dispute. You must select a Response Code in order to submit your response to a customer dispute.

Q. What happens after I send my Issue Full Refund response?
A. You¡¦ll automatically be directed to the Thank You page. This page provides all the details of the customer dispute as well as your response to it. You should print this page for your records.

Q. Can I make changes after I click Send Response?
A. No. Once you have sent your response, no changes can be made online. If you wish to make any changes to the response, you¡¦ll need to contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. What does it mean to disagree with a customer dispute by issuing no refund?
A. Disagreeing with a dispute allows you to challenge the dispute if you feel that no refund is owed. You must provide supporting documentation in order to disagree with a customer dispute.

Q. What should I do if I disagree with a customer dispute and want to issue no refund?
A. You should select ¡§Continue¡¨ with ¡§No Refund¡¨ on the Dispute Details page. When the Response page appears, choose a ¡§Response Code¡¨ and provide the requested supporting documentation. You must click ¡§Send Response¡¨ when you are finished.

Q. What supporting documentation should I send?
A. You should send documents sustaining your disagreement with the Customer Dispute. The supporting documents you will need to send vary by Case Type. Refer to the "Supporting Documentation Required" field under the "Reason for a Dispute" section in the Disputes Details page for the most acceptable examples.

Q. How should I send my supporting documentation?
A. You can fax or mail your supporting documents. When sending by mail, create a cover sheet by choosing ¡§Create a Facsimile Cover Sheet¡¨ on the Thank You page. Print this cover sheet and include it with your supporting material. When faxing, print the same cover sheet and fax it along with your supporting documents.

Q. What does it mean to disagree with a customer dispute by issuing a partial refund?
A. Disagreeing with a dispute allows you to authorize a partial refund of the disputed charge amount to the Cardmember. You must provide additional supporting documentation when disagreeing with a customer dispute.

Q. What should I do if I disagree with a customer dispute and want to issue a partial refund?
A. You should select ¡§Continue¡¨ with a ¡§Partial Refund¡¨ on the Dispute Details page. When the Response page appears, choose a ¡§Response Code¡¨ and provide the requested supporting documentation. You must click ¡§Send Response¡¨ when you are finished.

Q. What supporting documentation should I send?
A. You should send documents sustaining your disagreement with the customer dispute. The documents you need to send vary by the Case Type. Refer to the ¡§Supporting Documentation Required field¡¨ in the Disputes Details page for the most acceptable examples. Log onto our Online Merchant Services(OMS) now.

Q. What is fraud, and how does it affect me?
A. Fraud takes many forms, like stolen and counterfeit Cards, for example. These days, it¡¦s likely you¡¦ll have to deal with attempted fraud at some point, so it is important that you recognise the telltale signs to avoid being a victim of fraudulent transactions. If you¡¦re slow to react, it can result in loss of goods and revenue through Chargebacks.

Q. What should I do if I suspect a Card is stolen, or is a counterfeit?
A. Please hold onto the Card, and call our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277-1000 We¡¦ll need your Merchant number, and the Card Account number.

Q. How can I avoid fraudulent transactions?
A. Vigilance is most important in avoiding fraudulent activity, whichever type of transaction you¡¦re dealing with.

1.  When you are face-to-face with the customer:
       •   Only proceed if the customer is in possession of the Card.
       •   Check the Card has not expired, or been altered or damaged.
       •   Carefully compare the customer¡¦s signature on the receipt with the signature on the Card.

With the Chip enabled cards, you are protected against fraudulent activities and you can enjoy the highest level of security when transacting on your terminal. The microprocessor chip on the Chip Card is protected by cryptographic encryption, which prevents its contents from being replicated.

2.  When the customer is not with you (mail, telephone or internet orders):
       •   Only send merchandise to the billing address on the Card, and obtain a signed proof of delivery.
       •   If you are doing internet transactions, please ensure that your internet checkout is secure, with
            industry-standard encryption. Contact your Payment Gateway provider if you are unsure about
            the security level of your checkout.

Q. How can you help me attract more American Express Cardmembers?
A. We offer a variety of products and services to help you attract more American Express Cardmembers. These include Point of Purchase promotional materials as well as marketing support programmes such as Selects.

Q. What is American Express Selects®?
A. American Express Selects is a renowned global network usage platform with the purpose of driving sustainable incremental business volume toward participating Merchants. Selects programmes are applicable to all American Express Cardmembers. Selects is a marketing tool for dining, retail and travel establishments.

Q. How do I place an offer on the American Express Selects website?
A. To take part in the Selects programme, Merchants will need to call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am ¡V 6:30pm) (except public holidays) or call your Account Manager.

Q. What would I need to provide/submit to American Express when I decide to participate in Selects?
A. You will need to provide us with your company logo as a JPEG or TIFF file, or a high-resolution EPS file, and high res images/visuals, plus offer mechanics to your Account Manager or call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am ¡V 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. How long will it take to publish my Selects offer on the website?
A. Upon approval of your Selects offer, with all images/logos submitted, it will take 4 to 6 weeks to appear on the website.

Q. Can I promote my Selects offer on my website?
A. Yes, you can promote your offer for American Express Cardmembers on your website, but you¡¦ll first need to get approval from American Express Marketing. Please contact your respective Account Manager or call 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am ¡V 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. What type of offer do I need to provide?
A. Since Selects is an exclusive offer programme, you¡¦ll need to provide a best-in-class offer during the time of promotion. You may view the current offers provided by other merchants on www.amexnetwork.com/selects/hk .

Q. Who can I contact for CPC technical details?
A. If you are having any difficulties, please call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays) if you are using an American Express acceptance device or a bank¡¦s device.

Q: Can I accept other Purchasing Card customers?
A: Yes, you are not restricted to just one customer. Please contact our team for more details on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q: How do I submit a payment on a CPC?
A: If you require further information, please contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q: How can American Express help me to reconcile my payments?
A: You may prefer to reconcile your payment by managing your Account online, using our
Online Merchant Services (OMS). This offers you quick, secure access to your Statement. For more information call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q: My business has been transferred to a new legal entity. Will this affect my CPC Account?
A: It¡¦s likely you will need to complete a new application for your new legal entity. To find out more information, please call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays)

Q: How do I inform you of a change regarding my company¡¦s bank details?
A: Download the maintenance form from our website and fax it back on 800-965-071 with the necessary documents after you have filled it.

Q: A CPC transaction has been declined? Why has this occurred?
A: This could have happened for a number of reasons:
        •   The Card has been cancelled, or has expired.
        •   The Card¡¦s credit limit has been exceeded.
        •   Your business is not yet on your customer¡¦s list of suppliers.

Please contact our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277 1000. They will identify the issue for you and advise you of the next steps.

Q. How do I process Travellers¡¦ Cheques?
A. To authorize a cheque, follow the steps below:

  1. Watch your customer countersign the cheque(s), and then compare their signature with the original one to make sure that they match.
  2. Ensure that you have a valid cheque by examining the security features; click here for examples.
  3. Check for any obvious signs of alteration to the cheque or the original signature.

Alternatively, you can obtain authorization by calling 3002 1276, or go online to americanexpress.com/verifyamextc (where you¡¦ll also find a link to our acceptance procedures).

Q. How do I validate security features?
A. While holding the cheque up to the light, view the Centurion watermark in the white area and the ¡¥AMEX¡¦ security thread in the middle area, and ensure they¡¦re both visible from the front and back of the Travellers¡¦ Cheque. View the holographic foil at various angles to verify denomination, and view image and colour changes between Centurion and American Express logo. Ensure the cheque has not been visibly altered and/or manipulated.

Q. How do I process Travellers¡¦ Cheques issued in a foreign currency?
A. Travellers¡¦ Cheques presented in a foreign currency should be viewed as foreign notes. Should you choose to accept Travellers¡¦ Cheques in a foreign currency, you¡¦ll need to determine the exchange rate and convert the transaction. Contact your bank for further details.

Q. Can I deposit Travellers¡¦ Cheques with my bank?
A. Most banks accept American Express Travellers¡¦ Cheques. Please contact your bank to check their specific conditions.

Q. Do I give change in cash?
A. Yes. In the same way as you would for bank notes. And, as with bank notes, be wary of high-value Travellers Cheques being used to make low-value purchases.

Q. What if I don't see each Travellers Cheque being countersigned?
A. Ask the customer to repeat their signature on the back of each cheque.

Q. What is the Data Security Operating Policy?
A. It¡¦s an American Express policy with which all Merchants, Processors, and Service Providers that store, process or transmit American Express? Cardmember¡¦s information must comply. This policy has been strengthened to reflect current business conditions, provides additional requirements to help safeguard Cardmembers¡¦ information and aligns with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI Standard). The PCI Data Security Standard is a common set of technical requirements for safeguarding sensitive payment data which are applicable across the industry.

Q. Who does the Data Security Operating Policy apply to?
A. It applies to all entities (Merchants and Service Providers) who process, store or transmit Cardmembers¡¦ information. Its requirements apply to all equipment, systems and networks on which American Express Cardmembers¡¦ information is processed, stored or transmitted.

Q. Why is the Data Security Operating Policy important to my business?
A. Compromised data can have a negative impact on your business, reputation and its ability to conduct business effectively. Addressing this threat by implementing security operating procedures can make your customers feel more secure and enhance the reputation of your business.

Q. Why should my business comply with Data Security Operating Policy?
A. The Data Security Operating Policy is a sound business practice and a requirement of American Express. By accepting American Express? Cards, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of our Card Acceptance Agreement, which includes data security requirements and mandates compliance with American Express policies and procedures.

Q. Does the Data Security Operating Policy still apply to me if I do not store Cardmember information?
A. Yes, the policy still applies to any of your equipment, systems, and networks that transmit or process Cardmembers¡¦ information.

Q. Can a Merchant or Service Provider be considered compliant if it has outstanding non-compliance issues?
A. We encourage Merchants and Service Providers to complete an initial review, develop a remediation plan, complete items on the remediation plan, and revalidate compliance of those outstanding items. This plan can be submitted to American Express for review until full compliance can be achieved. If American Express accepts the plan, its sole discretion, it can choose not to impose the non-validation for a Merchant's failure to provide the documentation validating its compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard. However, a Merchant may still remain liable for fraud as a result of a security compromise.

Q. How does the Data Security Operating Policy compare to the PCI Data Security Standard?
A. The PCI Data Security Standard is the technical foundation for the Data Security Operating Policy, allowing Merchants and Service Providers to comply with one set of data security technical standards. The Data Security Operating Policy defines the levels, requirements and validation deadline for American Express.

Q. I've been contacted by a company called Trustwave on behalf of American Express. I don't know who this Trustwave company is, and this sounds like a phishing scam. How do I know this isn't a scam?
A. American Express has retained Trustwave to help us administer our Data Security Compliance Program. Trustwave is a leading provider of information security and compliance management solutions to Merchants and Service Providers. We are glad you're checking up on this - we can assure you that this company is reputable and will adhere to all American Express privacy principles.

Q. Can I use another company other than Trustwave to conduct the required assessment and/or scans?
A. Yes. You may use any of the approved vendors listed at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/approved_companies_providers/index.php

Q. If I used another company to conduct my scan, do I have to provide it to Trustwave?
A. Yes, it will be necessary for you or your chosen authorized security vendor to submit this information to Trustwave (TW). TW has been contracted and authorized to collect this information on behalf of American Express.

Q. May I submit my validation documentation directly to Trustwave?
A. Yes, you may submit your validation documentation to Trustwave our secure portal. Send an email to Trustwave at AmericanExpressCompliance@trustwave.com and request a customised link to the secure portal. Uploading your validation documentation is quick and easy.

Q. What are the different ways to process American Express transactions?
A. There are 3 methods:

  • Processing charges electronically.
  • Processing charges manually.
  • Processing mail order/telephone order (MOTO) and internet charges.


Q. How do I process American Express transactions?
A. Before you start, here are 6 tips to help you protect your Business Account:
  • Verify that the person presenting the Card is the Cardmember
    The American Express Card is not transferable, even between family members. The Card can only be used by the person whose name is embossed on the front of the Card.
  • Compare the signatures
    Verify that the Cardmember's signature on the transaction slip (Record of charge) matches the signature on the back of the Card. Make sure that it is the same name as embossed on the front of the Card.(Not applicable to FastPay transaction)
  • Check the expiration date on the Card
    Ensure that the Card has not expired. If the Card is not valid or if you are unsure, call Authorizations at 2277-1000 and ask to speak to an Authorizer for handling instructions.
  • Swipe the Card, insert the Card into a chip reader or take an imprint
    If the magnetic strip on the back of the Card or the chip is unreadable, call our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline at 2277-1000 and proceed with processing the transaction on paper. If you process on paper, obtain an imprint of the Card.
  • Obtain a valid approval code
    You must obtain a valid approval code for all transactions. Failure to obtain an approval code could result in a Chargeback. You must not attempt to circumvent Authorizations procedure by submitting two or more charges for a single transaction. The approval code remains valid for 30 days. Please note that some POS terminals may display the word ¡§REFERRAL¡¨, with or without a set of numbers next to it. These numbers are NOT a valid Authorization Approval Code and should NOT be keyed into the terminal. When the word REFERRAL is displayed, you should call American Express to request a valid Authorization Approval Code to process the transaction. American Express will not be responsible for transactions not carried out in accordance with the American Express Terms and Conditions.
  • Return the Card and the Cardmember's copy of the Record of Charge (ROC), terminal receipt, or Credit Record to the Cardmember.

If you are processing the charge:

a) Electronically
Processing the American Express Card charges electronically is quicker for you and your staff. Electronic processing can also help ensure the accuracy of your transactions and reduce the chance of incorrectly completed forms or lost paperwork.

Simply swipe the Card through your terminal or insert the Card into a chip reader to request Authorizations. If your existing terminals do not accept American Express Cards, call the Merchant Services Hotline on 2277-2277(Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm) (except public holidays) . To process charges electronically, follow these easy steps:
  1. Before processing your first charge or credit, make sure your Electronic Data Capture (EDC) terminal or electronic cash register is properly programmed.
  2. Follow the basic instructions for submitting transactions that were provided with your equipment.
  3. Your terminal must be able to generate a receipt containing the following information:
  4. - Approval code number.
    - An indicator that it was an American Express card transaction
    - Date of the charge.
    - Amount of the charge, which must be the total purchase price of goods or services purchased, including applicable taxes, tips, postage and packing charges. Any tip amount should be filled in by the Cardmember before you complete the total on the receipt.
    - Your business name, address and relevant POS terminal and merchant numbers.


b) Processing charges manually
When your terminal is unable to be used, you can still accept American Express charges by processing them manually.
For each transaction, be sure to
- Complete a Record of Charge (ROC), and include all the information required for an in-person charge.
- Obtain the Cardmember¡¦s signature on the ROC form.
- Call the American Express 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277-1000. Complete the Summary of Charge (SOC) and submit the forms (ROC and SOC) to American Express International Inc., P.O. BOX 11414, GENERAL POST OFFICE, HONG KONG.

To view a sample of a submission form of ROC and SOC along with simple instructions. Please click here.

c) Processing mail order/telephone order (MOTO) and internet1 charges
To protect yourself from Chargebacks, please follow the Card acceptance procedures in your Card Acceptance Agreement. Be sure to:

- Provide signed proof of delivery to the Cardmember's billing address.

- Always submit Mail /Phone /internet charges under a separate Merchant number. To find out how you can acquire a separate Merchant number, please contact the Merchant Service Hotline on 2277-2277(Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm). (except public holidays)

- Ensure the merchandise is delivered to the Cardmember's billing address. You must instruct your shipping company that merchandise is not to be re-routed.

To avoid the risk of fraud, remember to ask the Cardmember for:

- Their name exactly as it appears on the Card.
- Their Card Account number.
- Card expiration dates.
- Card billing address, as well as the address where merchandise is to be delivered (if different from the billing address).
- Home or business telephone number.
- Telephone number where the Cardmember can be reached (if different from the home or business phone).

For each transaction, be sure to:
- Complete a Record of Charge (ROC), and include all the information required for an in-person charge. Then follow the above instructions from point 3 of ¡¥Electronically processing¡¦.
- Write "Telephone Order" or "Mail Order", as applicable, on the signature line of the Record of Charge.
- Call the American Express 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277-1000.
- Complete the Summary of Charge (SOC) and submit the forms (ROC and SOC) to American Express International Inc., P.O. BOX 11414, GENERAL POST OFFICE, HONG KONG.
- In the case of mail, telephone or internet transactions where the Cardmember is not present to sign or to enter their PIN, you need to follow a different process.
- You must obtain all required information from your customer in order to complete your transactions.
The details you require depend on your 'Card not present' acceptance function. Contact your service provider to discuss these requirements.

1. Internet includes online services, Web sites, and other similar networks.

Q. How do I process a refund?
A. There are 2 methods you can use to process a refund. You can either process it on your terminal by pressing the ¡¥refund¡¦ function2 or simply complete a manual refund form.

For each refund, be sure to:
- Complete a Credit Record of Charge (Credit ROC) and include all the information required.
- Then complete a Credit Summary of Charge (Credit SOC)
- Send the forms (Credit ROC and Credit SOC) to American Express International Inc., in order to have them processed.

To view a sample of a manual refund form (credit ROC and credit SOC) along with simple instructions. Please click here.

2. The refund function on your terminal differs from bank to bank. Please contact your terminal provider for assistance

Q. How do I process a refund with a partial Card number?
A. You may contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277-2277 in order to obtain the full Card number. Please note that before we can release the information, we are required to identify you first. Kindly provide the partial Card number, the charge amount and the transaction date in order for us to assist you in locating the details.

Q. What is a debit balance?
A. Debit balance refers to the outstanding amount in your Account due to the following reasons:
      •   Refund that was processed to a Cardmember.
      •   An adjustment incurred due to a Cardmember dispute.
      •   Fees or charges.

Q. Why do I receive an Interim Advice?
A. When your transactions are insufficient to collect any outstanding amount, American Express will send you the Interim Advice to notify you of your outstanding balance 7 days after it is reflected in your Account.

Q. How can I clear the outstanding balance on my Account?
A. There are 2 ways to clear the outstanding balance on your Account:

        1.  Transfer outstanding payment between your existing Merchant Accounts
             Transfer the outstanding amount to one of your American Express Merchant Accounts
             that have submissions to offset the outstanding amount.
             To apply for this arrangement, you will need to write in with your consent and
             fax it to us at 2277 1168 or 800-965-071
        2.  Via cheque
             You can send us a cheque made payable to 'American Express International, Inc.'
             at the following address:
             American Express International Inc.
             Merchant Control Unit
             18/F, Cityplaza 4,
             12 Taikoo Wan Road
             Taikoo Shing
             Hong Kong
             Please ensure that your Merchant number is written at the back of the cheque in
             order for us to identify your Merchant Account.

Q. I need to update my Account details. How do I update information?
A. There are currently two ways to update your Account information. These vary depending on the type of information that you wish to change:

      1.  For Address/Contact details?
          Please call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm)
          (except public holidays). No supporting documents are required.

      2.  For any other information on your Merchant Account:
          You will need to complete the Maintenance Form with your updated information and
          fax it to us on 800-965-071 . As a form of verification, you will need to enclose supporting
          documents according to the request types listed below.

           Bank account number?
          Supporting documents ¡V Either one of: bank statements, voided copy of a blank cheque,
          deposit slip bearing the new account details.

           Trading/company name?
          Supporting documents ¡V certified copy of the Registrar of Company bearing the new
          company name.

           Both company name and bank account number?
          Supporting documents ¡V Either one of: bank statements, voided copy of a blank cheque,
          deposit slip bearing the new account details.
          Certified copy of the Registrar of Company bearing the new company name.

           Add/delete an authorized user of the Account?
          Supporting document ¡V copy of Registrar of Company.

           Change of ownership/entity?
          Please contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 for assistance.
          Please note that before we can change your Account information, we are required to verify your
          identity.

Q. How can I place an order for American Express Point of Purchase (POP) materials? 
A. To place your order, you can simply call our Merchant Services Hotline 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-6:30pm) (except public holidays)

Q. Is the Point of Purchase (POP) material complimentary?
A. Yes. POP material is provided to our Merchants at no charge.

Q. After placing my order, where do I collect the Point of Purchase (POP) material?
A. The POP material will be delivered to you between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.

Q. How long does it take for Point of Purchase (POP) material to be delivered?
A. Point of Purchase (POP) material will take approximately 5 days (subject to stock availability) to reach you.

Q. Can I request for the order to be delivered to a residence or an overseas address?
A. We are unable to deliver the order to a residence or overseas address. All deliveries must be made to a local business address.
Q. How will I know if my Merchant Account is eligible?
A. The criteria that we use to assess the eligibility of your Establishments are:
· Your Establishment currently accepts Card Present Charges (excluding Establishments that only conduct Internet, mail or telephone orders)
· Your Establishment is not in an industry that we consider ¡§high risk¡¨. See below list of ¡§high risk¡¨ industries.
· Your Establishment is not on our Fraud Full Recourse Program.
· For enquiry, please contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am ¡V 6:30pm) (except public holidays).

Q. What do you consider to be ¡§high risk¡¨ industries?
A. We consider high risk industries, as follows:
· Auction Sales
· Bail Bondsman
· Cardmember Activated Terminals (such as Road Tolls, Car Parking Stations and Garages, Petrol Pumps, Cinema Kiosks, and Railway Self-Service Ticketing)
· Detective Agencies · Charities
· Door to Door Sales
· Financial Services
· Internet Electronic Services
· Night Clubs
· Online Pharmacies
· Payment Service Providers (Aggregators)
· Personal Services
· [FOR AUSTRALIA ONLY: Taxis]
· Telecommunications (Cellular Products/Services, Premium Rate Telephone Services and Telecommunications Calling Cards)

Q. What is Apple Pay?
A. Apple Pay gives your customers an easy, secure, and private way to pay in stores using iPhone or Apple Watch and within apps using iPhone or iPad.

Q. How do I accept Apple Pay payments?
A. To accept Apple Pay in your store, you just need to have an American Express contactless-enabled terminal and follow the steps below:
Step 1: Enter the transaction amount into the terminal.
Step 2: The transaction amount will display on the Contactless Reader. The reader light will blink or sound an audio alert.
Step 3: Ask the Cardmember to verify the amount on the Reader.
Step 4: Ask the Cardmember to hold the device near the Reader and either perform the Touch ID authentication or enter their device¡¦s Passcode. For Apple Watch, ask the Cardmember to double-click the side button and hold the display of the Apple Watch up to the Reader.
Step 5: The Cardmember will receive a signal from the iPhone or Apple Watch when the transaction has been approved. Give a copy of the receipt to the Cardmember. No signature is required.
Contact your terminal provider if you have any questions about your current capability or if you would like to set up a contactless terminal capability.

Q. How does Apple Pay work?
A. The Cardmember adds their American Express® Card to Apple Wallet. To pay with iPhone they place their finger on Touch ID and hold their iPhone up to the contactless terminal. To pay with Apple Watch they double-click the side button then hold the display up to the terminal. A subtle vibration and beep, with ¡§Done¡¨ on the display will confirm the payment information has been sent. PIN is not required regardless of transaction amount.

Q. What does this mean for Merchants?
A. · Faster, more convenient payments
· Fraud protection and security
· One flat rate for all American Express transactions, with no additional fees
· More choice and flexibility for your customers.

Q. Which American Express Cards can be processed using Apple Pay?
A. An eligible Card is a basic or supplementary American Express Card issued by American Express International, Inc. ("American Express") in Hong Kong. Use of Apple Pay is not available to holders of American Express Corporate Card, American Express Gold Corporate Card, American Express Cathay Pacific Corporate Card, American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Corporate Card, American Express Corporate Meeting Card, American Express Corporate Purchasing Card, American Express Business Travel Account and all American Express Cards issued outside of Hong Kong.
If your customers have a valid American Express Card issued by a licensed third-party financial institution, please ask the customer to check with the issuer if the Card is eligible by calling the number on the back of the Card.

Q. Will there be any additional charges to process Apple Pay transactions?
A. No, there are no additional fees, just your one flat Merchant rate for all American Express transactions.

Q. What is the spending limit (or cap) when using Apple Pay?
A. American Express with Apple Pay allows customers to make easy and secure contactless payments at any amount, as every payment is authorized by the Cardmember, American Express and the merchant.

Q. Will Apple Pay transactions be processed the same way as a Card transaction?
A. Yes, Apple Pay transactions will process like any other contactless American Express transaction you accept today. You will need to check with your terminal provider to determine if you can process Contactless transactions.

Q. What should I do if I encounter a problem processing the transaction?
A. If you have been set up with contactless processing capability and you are experiencing problems with processing transactions, please contact your terminal provider.

Q. How secure is an American Express with Apple Pay transaction?
A. Security and privacy is at the core of American Express with Apple Pay. When Cardmembers add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual Card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security key, instead of using the security code from the back of the Card. And on iPhone and iPad every payment requires Touch ID or a passcode, and Apple Watch must be unlocked.

Q. What about fraud liability on Apple Pay transactions?
A. Within stores and apps, Apple Pay transactions are treated in the same way as your current contactless credit and debit transactions. The same liability rules apply to Apple Pay transactions.

Q. What about fraud liability on Apple Pay transactions?
A. Within stores and apps, Apple Pay transactions are treated in the same way as your current contactless credit and debit transactions. The same liability rules apply to Apple Pay transactions.

Q. Are these transactions treated as Card present or Card Not Present?
A. For Apple Pay contactless payments (e.g. in-store), the transaction is treated as Card Present. For Apple Pay payments within apps (those that come directly through the participating Merchant¡¦s mobile app), the transaction is treated as Card Not Present but you will not be liable for any fraud that occurs.

Q. Does this new product announcement mean any changes to my Merchant fee rate?
A. No there are no changes to your Merchant fee rate; it will continue to be one flat rate for all American Express transactions, no additional fees.

Q. Are there any changes to my Merchant agreement?
A. No there are no changes to your Merchant agreement. To view the Merchant terms and conditions click here.

Q. How do I process returns with Apple Pay?
A. Applicable to merchants with auto refund function only: use the Device Account Number to find the purchase and process the return, just like you would with a traditional American Express Card payment. To see the last four or five digits of the Device Account Number, ask the customer to go to the Wallet app, tap the card, and tap on the lower-right corner of the display.
You can also have the customer hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the reader, select the Card they used to make the original payment, and authorize the return with Touch ID or passcode.
When not applicable, please refer to the standard manual refund procedures.

Q. Which devices can customers use to make Apple Pay purchases?
A. Customers will be able to make Apple Pay purchases using their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE running on iOS 9.0 or above, or an Apple Watch that is paired with an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone SE. iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro will be enabled for payments within apps.
Please visit the Apple website for the full list of eligible devices.

Q. How do I set-up Apple Pay for in-app purchases?
A. Contact your e-commerce gateway or Payment Service Provider or visit the Apple website for more information.

Q. Want more information about Apple Pay?
A. Visit the Apple website for more information.